Florida in revolt as COVID cases spike, DeSantis rejects health measures

A man in a suit gestures while speaking into a microphone.

Enlarge / Florida man and Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a press conference held at the Assault Brigade 2506 Honorary Museum on August 05, 2021, in Hialeah, Florida. (credit: Getty | Joe Raedle)

The dire COVID-19 situation in Florida continues to worsen as local and federal leaders push back against Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and his efforts to thwart public health measures.

DeSantis has banned businesses, local governments, and schools in Florida from requiring proof of vaccination. Last Friday, DeSantis issued an executive order barring schools from requiring children to wear masks. In signing the executive order, the governor's office called federal recommendations for masks "unscientific" and claimed the order would "protect parents' freedom." The American Academy of Pediatrics has also recommended universal masking in schools, regardless of vaccination status.

Meanwhile, the delta coronavirus surge continues. On Wednesday, Florida recorded 20,133 new cases, its second-highest daily total of new cases in the entirety of the pandemic. The Sunshine State accounted for 22 percent of new cases detected in the US yesterday, despite making up just 6.5 percent of the country's population. Today, a record-high of 12,888 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state. It is the fourth straight day of record-breaking hospitalizations.

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